FAQS

What exactly IS Antelope Valley Pagans, and how did you get started?

 

In December of 1998, Ariadne Morningstar listed her coven on the “Witches Voice” website. Within 7 days, she had 5 responses from pagans excited to know that they were not alone in the Antelope Valley. From there, she created our email list at onelist, later egroups, now yahoogroups (!), and named it “Antelope Valley Pagans”. She began to contact people listed on the Witches Voice, as well as other websites, to see if they would like to join the list, and participate in monthly social gatherings, geared towards getting to know other pagans in the AV.
Witches and pagans that were without a place to gather, or a local bookstore (at the time), found that they could gather at a restaurant and get to know one another. We have met monthly since February, and began Open Sabbats, beginning on March of 98 with the Spring Equinox.
AV Pagans is a group of pagans and witches who met online first, then met in person, and decided they like each other. We are creating a pagan community and presence in the Antelope Valley. Hopefully, seekers will be able to network with others at our “moots” and meet other solitaries and coven members and learn about resources in our community available to them. Hopefully, as a community, we can support each other in our endeavors. People who want to join a coven might be able to meet coven members at a moot. People who want to be solitary might be able to find a mentor or a friend who can suggest some books/techniques. Established coven members and solitaries can benefit from networking with people from other covens and solitaries to learn about what else is available to them.

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Do you practice Satanism? Aren’t you afraid of going to Hell?

Witches and Pagans do not believe in Satan. Originally, Satanists were people who were anti-Christian and wanted to find a way to pervert the teachings of Christ. Since most Wiccans, witches and pagans do not worship Jesus, or at least not in the way that Christians do (as the Son of God the Father), of course they are not afraid of going to Hell. Most Pagans do not believe in Satan or Hell. Nowadays, Modern Satanists are really on a path of self knowledge and improvement, and they don’t worship Satan either… they just use the name.. Some of us think it’s for the shock value, others because they admire a being that was able to thumb their nose at Deity. Not something most Wiccans suggest, as Deity doesn’t always appreciate this… Since Wiccans believe that whatever you send out, you get back three times, there is a lot of motivation to keep those things going out as good things…

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I am part of a fundamental Christian religion; may I still come to an event?

Yes of course you may. All are welcome. However, you might want to ask some of us (send email to , about what you might expect to see in a ritual, should you come to an Open Sabbat. Since our Open Sabbats are hosted by covens, you may want to talk to the coven leader/host about coming as well. As long as you can remain positive, you are welcome. We do not want negativity in our worship groups. Also, you must promise not to try to “convert” members or in any way force your religion on them. Passing out tracts or doing any kind of “witnessing” would not be welcomed. By saying this, we are not trying to say we expect this behavior from you, only that it is a situation pagans have come across in the past.

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How do I join?

Well, you can join our email list… but…no joining is necessary. We are a social group. There are no dues, no membership requirements. All that is required is a desire to meet with others of like mind in your neighborhood, the Antelope Valley. We do not have officers or business meetings, either! Our “moots” are social events, geared towards meeting others, hanging out, joking around and having a good time. Open Sabbats are worship events that some of us have come to enjoy, celebrating the turn of the Wheel of the Year together as a community. We are all about community, supporting one another, and being friends.

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Is Antelope Valley Pagans a coven?

No. Not at all! We are an eclectic SOCIAL group of people who come to events who are Native American Path, witches, pagan, wiccans, druids and some who are just pagan-friendly. Some of us attend witches Sabbats that are put on by local covens and solitaries, but it is not necessary to attend anything. Nor do you need to have perfect love and trust with everyone at the moots. That is required for covens, not social gatherings.

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But I am not interested in being “recruited” into anyone’s coven or “converted” to their manner of practice.

Of course you aren’t! Neither are we! Some of us are in covens while others are Solitary. Wiccans and witches, and most pagans believe that to “recruit” others is wrong. People who “force” others to join their religion, in our opinion, are unethical. If you want to learn more about Pagan ways, you are welcome. If you want to convert others, you are not. The path of the Priesthood is not for everyone. In fact, there are some people on the pagan path who do not believe even in forcing their children to learn their religion either, preferring to let them choose when they are old enough. Most Pagans, upon finding this path, feel as though they have “come home.”

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I consider myself a Pagan but I don’t practice Wicca. May I still be included?

Absolutely! You do not have to be anything, to come to our events. It is our goal that you might, just maybe, meet someone who shares your beliefs or something close, and at our moots, you might be able to engage in some stimulating conversations! Our diverse community includes Asatruar, (Followers of Norse religion), Druidry, and others of Pagan Stripe, including a few Ceremonial, Hermetic, and Thelemics.

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I would like to go to an event, but I don’t know if I have time to go to all them, or even want to.

Come to what you want to, when you have time. Of course, we’d love to get to meet you! But, responsibility for yourself and your family and job come first before fun!! So go if you will, stay if you must, but Blessed Be!

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I’m kinda shy and don’t do well in large crowds, how many come to moots, and can I meet some of you at a smaller event?

Well, we do upon occasion meet for lunch, and healing circles, field trips like apple picking, and food and clothing drives. These can be crowded events or not so crowded. Feel free to email and ask. Also, consider joining the AV Pagans email list. You can get to know people a little online before meeting them in person. If you find someone on the list who seems like you have something in common you can email them and meet at a restaurant. Ariadne has done this a few times with new people. That way when you come to a moot for the first time you at least know one person. (We don’t bite at the moots!) Last but CERTAINLY not least, DO go by the local metaphysical Store, The Witches Grove, because they’ll make you feel right at home. Ask for Cyndia, Ariadne, or Hessica and we’ll plug you into the community!

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What’s a moot?

Well… a moot is a social gathering. A meet and greet if you will. Many of us have come to be friends either online or meeting at our local store, the Witches Brew, and we get together once a month to say hi, and network with one another. Since in England, moots are held in ‘pubs’ or bars, we don’t have pub moots out here. Mainly because a lot of us have children and of course, you can’t typically bring children into bars. Some of us have young ones that like to run a bit and play, so we meet in a private room where they can play without bothering anyone. Also, since we have a private room, those who are closeted about being pagan can feel free to come in without being identified as pagan. Dress at moots is casual, and the event is a social one. We don’t typically work magic or cast spells at moots! What we do, is network with one another and help people get to know others of like mind. If you are into Native American, we can help you out. If you are into Celtic, we know who to introduce you to… etc. We are a community and we help each other out when in need. So, feel free to come, meet us, and bring your children- you don’t need to hire a sitter to come to a moot. Some of us even have a playgroup going now, with our gaggle of three to four year olds. Dress casually, and come join us! Be sure and introduce yourself to Ariadne or Hessica so we can make sure we get to meet some folks either on the same path or of like mind!

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I don’t like being an “out” pagan…

Some of the individuals in our group are interested in activism. Some are interested in quietly helping out, but not stepping far out of their “broom closet”. No one will “out” you to Christians. Basic pagan etiquette is to NEVER out someone without his or her permission. The restaurant we meet at has a private room and a private entrance; the only non-pagan that might see you would be the waitress. So if you are afraid to come to an event, please feel welcome anyway. Ariadne was in the same position until recently; to meet at a restaurant was a big step before she stepped out of the broom closet. Try a baby step of joining the list first, if you have time, and then, when you meet us in person, we will be old friends!

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